Inspiring a new generation

Conservation: the next generation

Youth and passion; wisdom and experience — a powerful combination and a recipe for positive change. That’s a key message of the IUCN World Parks Congress which will help connect younger generations with the older and inspire them to show leadership in safeguarding the natural world.

By working together, different generations from all walks of life can unite their skills and experience in implementing solutions to today’s environmental challenges. Youth leaders know the latest technology; they know what makes their peers tick and how best to get them involved. Current generations involved in conservation have the benefit of experience and are reaching out to sectors of society not yet involved. Combined, this is a strong force for conservation.

The Congress will bring powerful voices of young people from across the globe, several of whom are featured in the articles below, and give them the chance to connect with key partners in conservation including the business community, politicians and educators, to share their perspectives and their ideas for action.

    News and features


    Katwheyo Collins

    The story behind the picture

    The boy in this photo is Katwheyo Collins. He was in primary school year six when the photo was taken. Katwheyo’s father, David, is a teacher for UNITE for the Environment, a programme of North Carolina Zoo.  …  

    25 Aug 2014 | Article

    Rita Okai

    Linking past, present and future: interview with Australian Indigenous Ranger, Rita Okai

    Rita Okai is a young Indigenous Ranger who has lived and worked in the Mutitjulu Community within the iconic Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park in central Australia. She will be sharing her experience at the IUCN World Parks Congress.   …  

    04 Sep 2014 | Article

    Jessica Watson, Australian sailor and ambassador of the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014

    Making waves: Interview with Australian sailor Jessica Watson

    Jessica Watson, OAM (Order of Australia Medal), is a young Australian sailor and Champion of the IUCN World Parks Congress 2014. In May 2010, Jessica became the youngest person to sail non-stop and unassisted around the world. …  

    23 Aug 2014 | Article

    Enjoying a moment of reflection

    Stronger together: Interview with Elaine Hsiao – leader of IUCN World Parks Congress stream ‘Inspiring a new generation’

    Elaine Hsiao is Co Vice-Chair of IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas Young Professionals Group.   …  

    22 Aug 2014 | Article

    Maleo, Sulawesi, ALTO

    Sulawesi youth find their power in conservation

    Earlier this year, something wonderful took place in Tompotika, Sulawesi with high school students championing the cause of local wildlife including the endemic and Endangered Maleo Bird.  …  

    22 Aug 2014 | Article

    Planting trees with the Kenya Youth Climate Network

    Communicate and connect: Interview with Grace Mwaura, leader of the IUCN World Parks Congress stream ‘inspiring a new generation’

    Based in Kenya, Grace Mwaura is a co-founder of the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change where she currently serves as Policy and Communications Advisor. …  

    22 Aug 2014 | Article

    Story-telling helps school children understand tiger-human conflict in Indonesia

    Storytelling helps understand tiger-human conflicts

    By Erlinda Kartika, member of IUCN’s Commission on Education and Communication. …  

    23 Aug 2014 | Article

    Rebecca Koss, IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Young Professional Coordinator for Australia and Oceania

    Voices of youth: Interview with Rebecca Koss – leader for IUCN World Parks Congress stream ‘Inspiring a new generation’ stream

    Rebecca, from Australia, is a member of IUCN's Young Professionals Group. …  

    22 Aug 2014 | Article

    Sudeep Jana, co-leader of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas Young Professionals Group

    Working for people and wildlife: Interview with Sudeep Jana - leader of IUCN World Parks Congress stream ‘Inspiring a new generation'

    Sudeep is a co-leader of the Young Professionals Group of IUCN’s World Commission on Protected Areas. …  

    23 Aug 2014 | Article

    One of the key themes cutting across all activities of the IUCN World Parks Congress is capacity development. This means boosting the skills, resources and institutions needed to make sure protected areas around the world are managed properly and can reach their full potential in conserving nature and all the benefits it provides.


    Inspection of the Nyika National Park for a World Heritage evaluation mission

    Reaching potential - building capacity development for protected areas

    In the face of rapid population growth and climate change, protected areas are critical to safeguarding the services we rely on such as the provision of clean water and food, and safety from natural disasters. There are now more than 200,000 protected areas worldwide. They cover over 13% of the land surface, 6% of coastal areas, but still only very little open ocean.  …   | French

    28 Aug 2014 | Article

    Beqa Island, Fiji.

    Developing capacity for protected areas - in the spotlight of Sydney

    Capacity development for protected areas management is universally accepted as a top priority. And in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries, many protected areas do not achieve their objectives of conserving key species, ecosystems and services, due to limited human and institutional capacity; particularly to access and use information to improve decision making. …  

    19 Aug 2014 | News story

    Dr Eleanor Sterling, leader of IUCN World Parks Congress capacity development theme

    Sharing skills: Interview with Eleanor Sterling

    Eleanor is a leader of the IUCN World Parks Congress capacity development theme. …  

    22 Aug 2014 | Article

    Participants at the BIOPAMA workshop - Enhancing capacity for stakeholders engagement for protected areas (19-21 August 2014, South Africa)

    Building capacity for multi-stakeholder engagement around protected areas

    How well do training programmes prepare conservation staff for the growing threats to protected areas in Eastern and Southern Africa? Are they equipped with the skills to engage other stakeholders and make the case for conservation in such a way that the biodiversity and the people of the region both win?  …   | French

    25 Aug 2014 | News story

    Engaging the next generation in conservation